Singapore—A Singaporean man who had recently returned from a trip to Myanmar but who disobeyed the Stay-Home Notice (SHN) he was given in order to buy a bowl of bak kut teh has been given a warning by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
The man posted on social media on March 23 that he had gone out to buy some bak kut teh on the day he arrived from overseas, writing in a Facebook post that he was “feeling fantastic” about it.
However, all travellers who arrive in Singapore from March 20 onwards are obligated to observe a fortnight at home as they are given a 14-day SHN, which means they should not leave the place where they live at all.
The fact that he went out to buy a meal, therefore, was a clear breach of the SHN.
When friends tried to warn him in comments to his post that he had transgressed the SHN, he said that his SHN was to start the following day, since custom officers told him that the following day would be counted as Day 1, media outfit Mothership reports.
But the Ministry of Health (MOH) says that while the day someone arrives is considered as Day 0, it is also considered as the official start of the SHN.
Mothership further reports that the man, who is a photographer, has a friend who wrote a separate Facebook post showing the man’s original post with his meal of bak kut teh, together with the comments questioning his decision to go out even if he had been issued an SHN. But this post from the photographer’s friend was removed on March 24, the same day it was posted.
Similarly, the photographer’s original post has also been deleted.
However, the matter had already reached the attention of the authorities, with no less than Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam saying in Parliament he was aware of the situation and had asked for the matter to be looked into.
AsiaOne quotes Mr Shanmugam as saying, “We will follow up, and we cannot allow such behaviour.”
He also asked anyone with information on the matter to come forward.
ICA told Mothership that it is aware of the man’s identity and how he transgressed his SHN, and that he has been issued a warning for him not to repeat this action and further breach the SHN.
It added that “strong enforcement” will be done if the man breaches his SHN once more. He could also be meted with fines of up to S$10,000, or up to half a year in jail, or both. —/TISG